Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thoughts on the Love Dare, Day 7

This is a paragraph from  the Day 7 " Love Dare" that hit me right where I live:

Love chooses to believe the best about people.  It gives them the benefit of the doubt.  It refuses to fill in the unknowns with negative assumptions.  And when our worst hopes are proven to be true, love makes every effort to deal with them and move forward.  As much as possible, love focuses on the positive.

In my defense, I do try to focus on the positive with my husband and with the children I care for and maybe even some of the people I know.  But, with regard to the general population, I have lately come to realize that my thoughts lean to the negative.  I rarely choose to believe the best about people I don't know.  I rarely give a stranger the benefit of the doubt.  My initial response is to fill in unknowns with negative assumptions.  It seems like day 7 is giving me a little trouble.

As to how I respond to situations where the worst has actually happened, I'd have to say that on a scale of one to ten, I may be in negative numbers.  Seriously, no pun intended.

Is the answer as simple as the Love Dare would have me believe?  Well, The scripture at the end of day 7 is:  "If there is anything praiseworthy -- meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8 NKJV)"  Not always an easy thing to do, but certainly a worthwhile thing to do.  Kind of reminds me of the plaque that hangs in my living room that says: "Faith makes things possible, NOT easy".  So, while I accept the challenge of day 7, I know that it will take me more than a day to work through this dare, especially as it relates to the world around me. I will use my experience in learning to focus on R's goodness to teach me to look at the people around me differently.  I will use the hope in God's Word to guide me when it seems impossible to change.  And I will study the example of Jesus.  When I look around my neighborhood, I'll try to see the best in those whom I've previously judged harshly.

Negativity, harshness, snap judgments come very easily for me.  Changing may not be easy, but it is possible.  What I ask of you who read this and interact with me, is that you hold me accountable.  If I begin sounding like "mean jean", bring it to my attention.  Reference this blog, if you must, but help me to stay on track.  We're truly all in this together, and I will probably need your help to affect a real change. And, if you are a praying person, pray for me.


  1. I think you are way too hard on yourself. I think that the negativity is your knee-jerk reaction a lot of times. *However* you are open to hear other people's opinions and thoughts. You are open to change your mind and you do some thinking behind your initial reaction. THAT is the key, IMO. Maybe your first thought doesn't believe the best about people, especially if they have actually done "wrong", but, you have the ability to give more thought to it. You have many grey areas like me. I don't think you are truly black or white with the negativity.

  2. I appreciate your input, Jen, especially since you know me fairly well, warts and all : )

    But even if it's my knee-jerk reaction, shouldn't that be less judgmental and more loving? Especially as a Christ-follower?